March Meeting 2018 – Days 2 to 4!

The March Meeting is always so exciting — there is so much information here!

Graphene origami and micron-sized laser controlled robots at Marc Miskin’s talk on Tuesday morning. SO COOL!

On Tuesday morning, I went to an outstanding session on Atomic Origami.  There is some truly amazing work out there with people designing shapes of graphene (mostly) that fold up on their own into boxes or flowers.  Post-doc Marc Miskin gave a really inspiring talk, including showing a little piece of graphene that folds itself up into a triangle only 15 microns on a side — reversibly and repeatedly!  Harvard professor David Nelson (who gave a colloquium at Wooster just a few years ago) also gave a wonderfully dynamic talk on criticality and crumpling of paper.

Emma Brinton ’18 gave her poster in the afternoon, and got good interest from the crowd.

Food trucks and extremely long, slow lines in the sun. Good food though.

Meanwhile Justine Walker ’18 and I went to a session on the life and legacy of Millie Dresselhaus. Millie was an absolutely outstanding person and physicist, and the first woman to do so many things. I knew of Millie, of course, but learned so much more about her. I also got to catch up with my Ph.D. advisor Laurie McNeil, who was chairing this session.

Spot the Wooster physicists in the crowd waiting for the graphene superconductivity talk. Hint: look for Michelle’s backpack.

Day 3, Wednesday, started off with a buzz of excitement around an invited talk about graphene and a new discovery of superconductivity. This was actually really interesting since I learned a good bit about graphene and carbon compounds in general the day before at the Millie Dresselhaus session, since she was a tremendous pioneer with carbon (and is known as the Queen of Carbon). I don’t know if everyone was already excited about the talk, but the APS sent out an email basically saying “this talk is so cool we’re projecting it in the cafe”, so then of course everyone came.  We had seats at a table, but moved to the balcony when too many people stood in front of us.  It was interesting, but I’m not sure if it’s quite the Woodstock of physics event we were hoping for.

Andrew Blaikie ’13 quizzes Chase Fuller ’19 about BZ waves.

Our remaining four students presented their posters and did very well, and had fun gathering up free toys from the vendors in the exhibit hall.

Everybody loves the toys.
Group selfie, take 2.

Time for a group photo, and a couple more sessions before a big group dinner.  This is always a highlight of the trip (as long as the scheduling works) and this time we got to include alumnus Andrew Blaikie ’13 who is finishing grad school at the University of Oregon.

Wooster physics out for dinner, with bonus alumnus Andrew Blaikie ’13!

Whew! So much more that I could say, but frankly I’m exhausted.  On Thursday, Avi Vajpeyi ’18 presented his bead pile simulation, and I presented the latest experimental  bead pile results later in the same session.

Me, taking credit for Gabe’s excellent work

As I said at the start, the March Meeting is exhilarating, but the counterpoint is that it is exhausting. We are starting to hit brain overload here, but fortunately things are winding down.  The weather has been lovely, so here’s a final image from the atrium at the convention center. I notice reflections all around, and I liked the blue sky with the reflections in the floor.

Sunlight and reflection in the atrium

Next year in Boston!